Sandra at Transpose Barbican with Chris Red (onscreen)
...storytelling with conscience & consciousness.
Sandra is a writer, filmmaker, interdisciplinary artist and curator who has published and presented widely throughout the UK and North America.
(San uses the pronouns 'she/her' or 'they/them'.)
Sandra was most recently Guest Editor at Disability Arts Online. They are also co-editor (with Khairani Barokka & Daniel Sluman) of Stairs and Whispers: D/deaf and Disabled Poets Write Back, an anthology of 54 UK poets. Sandra's poetic love affair with voice-activated software and disability poetics, Naturally Speaking, co-won Canada's 2013 bpNichol Award. They have published two other books of poetry and a chapbook of short fiction. Proper Tales Press published their second chapbook of stories, Anything Not Measurable Is Not Real, in September 2019.
Sandra's poems, stories, essays, plays and artworks have been anthologised in publications including We Were Always Here: A Queer Words Anthology (404 Ink, 2019), Why Poetry? (Verve, 2018); Protest! Stories of Resistance (Comma Press, 2017), Trans*Homo (NoNo Verlag, 2012), Outspoken (Playwrights Canada Press, 2009); The State of the Arts (Coach House Books, 2006); and Red Light: Superheroes, Saints and Sluts (Arsenal Pulp, 2005). Recent publications include The Deaf Poets Society, Gutter and Feral Feminisms.
Sandra's readings and performances include Bi Arts Festival (Toronto), Glasgow Autonomous Space, Last Word (Roundhouse, London), Ledbury Poetry Festival, Edinburgh International Book Festival, Soho Theatre (with Oxford Playhouse), Arts & Precarity Cabaret (Glasgow University), Aye Write! (Glasgow), Jawdance (Apples & Snakes, London), Ottawa International Writers Festival and VERSeFest (Ottawa). They have a reputation for innovative interdisciplinary collaborations, and co-founded collectives including They They Theys and Zorras.
In 2016-17, Sandra was commissioned for Disability Arts Online's Viewfinder project, where they co-curated an exciting playlist of films by and about disabled and D/deaf artists, and co-created five new documentaries (with Lisa Mattocks and SICK! Festival). Sandra was Anatomy Arts' Associate Artist for 2016, collaborating
with 15 artists and developing a live short story reading and film project based on their story, 'Equivalence' (published in Comma's Thought X, 2017). This went on to feature at Transpose (Barbican, London) and Edinburgh Filmhouse.
Sandra's group art shows include London's Tate Modern and Berlin's Schwules Museum. They have exhibited solo work at galleries and festivals including Midlands Arts Centre (Birmingham), Glasgow Gallery of Modern Art, MacRobert (Stirling), Malmo Queer Film Festival, San Francisco Transgender Film Festival and Entzaubert Queer DIY Film Festival (Berlin). In 2013, they were awarded an LGBT History Month Scotland Cultural Commission (National Lottery) to mentor D/deaf and disabled queer and trans filmmakers.
Since 2009, Sandra has curated Scotland's intersectional arts project, Cachín Cachán Cachunga! They have been artist-in-residence at Canada's Banff Centre, Mexico's FONCA, and Scotland's GoMA. Along with Ajamu X, they were an inaugural artist-in-residence at Trongate 103.
Despite all this, or because of much of it, Sandra is broke and unemployed, and barely survived the few mainstream arts orgs who let them through the door. So they thank you in advance for getting in touch with work (and reading this far).
“Thought X is based upon a standout idea – and is executed to near-perfection… It would be criminal to not mention 'Equivalence' by Sandra Alland – simply breath-taking.”
-Bookmunch, Tamim Sadikali, 2017
photo by Kat Gollock